Organizations looking for a flexible solution to print labels often pick thermal transfer printers, with good reason. Thermal label printing ensures consistent print quality so that barcodes, lot numbers, date codes and logos are clear from the first label you print to the last.
When you’re able to print on demand, you reduce costs because you don’t need to keep a large label inventory or waste pre-printed labels if you need to make a change to the information they contain.Thermal transfer printers handle high volumes of throughput efficiently, helping you improve productivity and reduce downtime.
Plus, thermal label printing is proven to stand up against harsh environments. Printed images are resistant to chemicals, wear, smudging and moisture, so you don’t have to worry about costly re-labeling.
Once you implement a thermal transfer printer, maintenance guidelines are easy to follow. Learn five tips to keep your thermal transfer printer running optimally so you don’t have to spend extra money on unnecessary new parts or wasted media.
5 Tips to Keep Your Thermal Transfer Printer at Optimal Performance
- Maintain the right heat and speed ratio
- Keep the print head clean
- Protect the print head from the media
- Don't use razor blades or box cutters
- Avoid 'ribbon wrinkle'
1. Maintain The Right Heat And Speed Ratio
You should run your thermal transfer printer on a relatively slow setting to use less heat while also making sure you get a good image. The print head will last much longer when it doesn’t overheat.
2. Keep The Print Head Clean
Keeping your print head clean is imperative to the upkeep of your printer. If your print head is not regularly cleaned, it will also be more susceptible to abrasion when printing media, resulting in a shorter life for your printer and lower quality printing jobs that your printer will accomplish. We recommend that you establish a schedule for regularly cleaning the print head; our technical team endorses cleaning the piece whenever you replace the label roll or install a new ribbon.
3. Protect The Print Head From The Media
To safeguard the print head against abrasion, use a thermal transfer ribbon that’s slightly wider than the media.
4. Don’t Use Razor Blades Or Box Cutters
You should only use tools such as the printer’s tear bar or scissors to remove labels. Razor blades, box cutters and other inappropriate tools can cut the driver roller. These cuts can easily create voids in your printed labels.
5. Avoid “Ribbon Wrinkle”
Ribbon wrinkle looks like random diagonal lines on your print. Too much heat usually causes this, so your first option is to turn down the heat setting. If that doesn’t work, make sure the ribbon is loaded correctly, the media guides are set properly, the head pressure is balanced, and the media and ribbon combination work together.
For Help, Contact Your Label Solutions Provider
It’s important to choose a label solutions provider that tests the functionality of each printer before shipping it to you. After all, your printer should work according to your specifications. However, if an issue does arise, you may need assistance.
Your label solutions provider should be available to help you troubleshoot any issues with your thermal transfer printer over the phone. Usually, we can resolve an issue within a few minutes.
Partner with a provider that offers flexible service agreements and warranties. When needed, a technician can come visit your facility for repairs.
If you don’t already have a thermal transfer printer, you can easily integrate one within your existing production systems.
The right label solutions provider makes sure your printer is tailored to your organization’s unique labeling demands. Adopting the new solution is pretty simple, so you won’t need much time to learn how to use it.